Jesters felled by the Flashmen
The Flashmen 172 all out (Lasseter 3-5, Chak 3-53)
Jesters 120 all out (Chak 49*)
Lost by 52 runs
Despite reducing The Flashmen to 19-5 after a devastating opening spell from debutant George Lasseter, we somehow contrived to lose by 52 runs at Ascott Park. Captain Bridcut describes the day's events...
The Flashmen stepped in as enthusiastic last-minute replacements for the Bedouin, at the wonderful Ascott Park setting in Bedfordshire, and put in a ruthless performance to record another notch in their cricketing belt.
Having won the toss and opted to insert our unknown opponents, the Jesters’ opening strike bowler George Lasseter immediately struck gold, knocking over the unwitting Flashmen opener’s off peg with the first ball of the match! George continued in the same vein, taking two further wickets in his second over, as he tore through the opposition’s lauded top order. He was very ably supported by the wily Dan Hayes at the other end, who picked up two wickets in his first four overs, one a fine recovery catch from DJ Chak, who had initially sprinted (well, jogged) in the exact opposite direction.
The Flashmen were soon 19/5, with ammunition running low. However, once the lethal Lasseter (3/5) and Hayes (2/26) were removed from the attack, runs started to flow with more ease as the middle order put anything loose to the sword. 19/5 became 141/5, before a miraculous catch from Ollie Doward on the stroke of lunch made the much-needed break through; their number 7 had tucked into a rare Chak half-volley, aiming high over the sightscreen, only to succumb to an extremely surprising left-handed diving catch at mid-on, where the Jesters’ veteran had been hiding for the morning session. It was the catch of the season so far (though not in Andrew Short’s opinion) and was worthy reward for the indefatigable Chak.
After the break, the Jesters did not take long to prize out the remaining four wickets. While the total of 172 represented a fine lower order recovery, it was also about the amount the Jesters would have hoped to chase. Chak (3/53) and Adnan Mohammed (2/26) helped wrap up the innings, with the last wicket falling to another fine catch by Ollie Doward, this time pocketing a steepler on the boundary’s edge, where he had been hiding since lunch.
Ten minutes into the Jesters’ reply the scoreboard read 4/4. This was not in the script. Our (accomplished) top order was blown away by the skiddy pace of former Dorset and Somerset quick Ben Ladd-Gibbon (4/21). Each of Shorbo Nag, Saj Zaib and Adnan Mohammed were cleaned up by the Flash expressman, and Ollie Doward perished at the other end, his forward lunge giving the umpire no choice but to send him on his way.
It was indeed a long way back into the game from here, but you could not wish for a better man to walk (well, amble) out into this crisis than DJ Chak. Two additional wickets put us further in the mire at 32/6, but DJ stood firm and, supported by some stoic lower order resistance, steadied the ship in the face of our opposition’s relentless (and vocal) drive for victory. After showing admirable patience against the opening bowlers’ long initial spells, DJ eventually started to wield the willow in anger, and at one stage gave us a slim hope of victory. However, he inevitably ran out of partners as he ended on 49* as the 10th wicket fell.
Jesters XI: Bridcut (c), Nag (wk), Doward, Zaib, Clapp, Mohammed, Lasseter, Chak, Mortimer, Hayes, Short